Former TLRC brass, late Negros Oriental gov staff found guilty in PDAF case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) -- Former Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) officials were found guilty of graft and malversation over the diversion of P9.6 million in the late Negros Oriental representative Herminio Teves’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) through a ghost project in 2007, the Sandiganbayan handed its decision on Friday.

The court sentenced former TLRC deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, chief accountant Marivic Jover, and liason officer Belina Conception to at least 20 years imprisonment.

Hiram Pulido, who was Teves’ former chief of staff, and Samuel Bombeo, a private individual, were found guilty of the same offense as well.

“They are ordered to solidarily pay a fine of P9,600,000 equal to the amount malversed and to indemnify the Government of the Republic of the Philippines the amount of P9,600,000 with legal interest of 6% per annum until full payment,” the court said.

The anti-graft court also said they shall suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

On the other hand, former TLRC department head Francisco Figura was acquitted due to the prosecution’s failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The case against Teves was dismissed because of his death.

Teves and his alleged cohorts were charged with graft and malversation for endorsing the release of pork funds to Bombeo’s Molugan Foundation Inc. (MFI) even though it was not one of the identified implementers of PDAF projects in the 2007 General Appropriations Act.

“Were it not for their consent and participation, the funds would not have been disbursed and released to MFI, through Bombeo,” the court said.